Minority Areas of Northwest Yunnan

This journey begins in Kunming, then to the Daoist mountain of Weibaoshan, situated in the Weishan Yi and Hui autonomous county, then on to the Bai areas of Dali and the traditional village of Shaxi. From there we typically head north to the meticulously preserved Naxi town of Lijiang before continuing upward to the Tibetan areas of Gyalthang (Zhongdian) and Deqin, from where hiking and trekking opportunities abound in the spectacular valleys and glaciated peaks surrounding Kawagebo, Yunnan’s highest peak. Kawagebo (Meilixueshan) is one of the eight most sacred mountains for Tibetan Buddhists. Prayer flags surround the route and small guesthouses are available, as well as camping options. Other possibilities include a visit to Lugu Lake, home of the Mosuo people, famous for their unique matrilineal society and the semi-tropical rainforests of Xishuangbanna, bordering Laos, Vietnam and Burma (Myanmar), and home to an entirely different set of unique ethnic groups.Please bear in mind that some of these destinations, such as Dali and Lijiang, have become increasingly crowded by visitors, both domestic Chinese and foreign. These destinations are popular for very good reason, however, on this most popular itinerary we make an effort to get to little visited destinations where ethnic traditions remain intact and largely unaffected by the mass tourism that has affected some of the more touristic locations. Our trip leaders have many friends and cultural resources in smaller locations, such as Weibaoshan and Shaxi, that expose you to another, more traditional and representative, side of Yunnan.